We awoke to the sounds of crowing cocks, bleating goats and barking dogs as we began our Saturday at the HH guesthouse. Our team is now a mighty force of newly formed friendships, united in purpose and empowered with a sincere desire to share the love of Jesus with every one of the Haitians we meet and serve today.
After another chaotic ride through the streets of Port-au-Prince, we arrived at DIOS orphanage for special needs children. We didn't know what to expect, but as soon as we jumped off the tap tap we were greeted by the huge smiles of children determined to embrace life despite living with the challenges of disabilities. The color books, nail polish, chalk and balls we brought were a big hit, but when our Haitian guides busted out their boom box, the dance party began. All the children joined us for the Electric Slide and the Cupid Shuffle under the shade of the mango trees. Wheelchairs were no obstacle to bust a move. Sheer joy.
Next stop: Cite' Soleil outside the gates of Hope Academy. More ebony faces to hold and love on this blazing hot afternoon. Basketball, jump rope and nail painting - all intense activities in Cite' Soleil.
Last stop: SAKALA Community Center. More basketball and soccer with older children in the over 100 degree heat index. The teens on our team were absolute rock stars at Sakala. The children here were gentle and so well-behaved. They wanted to practice their English with us. Sakala is Creole for "being in the moment." No cell phones. No social media. No watches to know the time.
Our time here in Haiti has taught us the meaning of Sakala. Will we be able to take Sakala home with us to America? Hopefully so.
After another chaotic tap tap ride home filled with a Tap Surfing contest and "Roll Call" led by one of our teens, we arrived back home. The adults walked up to the pool at the nearby hotel to cool off. The young folk showered and conked out for a nap.
Team Tam Time was up on the roof again tonight for word-of-day. The peaceful hot breeze was punctured with the shouts of two million people in the streets of Port-au-Prince celebrating Haiti's soccer victory over Canada. Three massive explosions of human voices and fireworks - one for each goal and of course, the final victory. Amazing and unforgettable.
Goodnight BANANAS. Tomorrow is our final day in beautiful Haiti.